Thursday, September 4, 2008


I've got a few projects I'm working on right now: getting new employees set up at work, trip to Minneapolis, getting my tech certifications, and a new website I want to start up.

Setting up the new employees isn't a problem, or at least it wouldn't be if the managers would actually tell me where they want them set up. The trip to Minneapolis starts tomorrow around noon; it would be later, but finding a ride to the airport proved more difficult than I anticipated and that was the only time I could find one. Getting my technical certifications will be a dull yet profitable task. In IT, certifications are like degrees - they don't really mean you know anything more, but they equate to more money. Lastly, the website.

A real man's restroom.

I've posted at various times about the office I work in and interactions with fellow employees. While I'm usually left alone in my office - and please do not misunderstand, that is not a complaint - when I leave it is not so. This office isn't large: just one open floor shaped like an L. The bathroom is around the corner from my office, no more than twenty paces. I can handle the occasional "hello" or "how's it going" during this walk. It is, after all, just greeting another human as you pass by while venturing from one location to another. However, once I have arrived at my destination - in this case, the lavatory - I request that conversation cease and casual greetings be kept to little more than a head nod.

It's the bathroom, for Heaven's sake! This is not a place of conversation. This is not a lounge nor a water cooler nor a living room. This is not a place to make new friends. This is not a place of business.

Well, not that type of business, anyway.

I understand that the ladies' room is a vastly different world. I accept that. As Steve, played by Jack Davenport on the British show 'Coupling,' said:

"We are men! Throughout history, we have always needed, in times of difficulty, to retreat to our caves. It so happens that in this modern age, our caves are fully plumbed. The toilet is, for us, the last bastion, the final refuge, the last few square feet of man-space left to us! Somewhere to sit, something to read, something to do, and who gives a damn about the smell? Because that, for us, is happiness. Because we are men. We are different. We have only one word for soap. We do not own candles. We have never seen anything of any value in a craft shop. We do not own magazines fill of pictures of celebrities with all their clothes on. When we have conversations, we actually take it in turns to talk! But we have not yet reached that level of earth-shattering boredom and inhuman despair that we would have a haircut recreationally. We don't know how to get excited about... really, really boring things, like ornaments, bath oil, the countryside, vases, small churches. I mean, we do not even know what, what in the name of God's ass is the purpose of pot-pourri! Looks like breakfast, smells like your auntie! Why do we need that? So please, in this strange and frightening world, allow us one last place to call our own. This toilet, this blessed pot, this... fortress of solitude. You girls, you may go to the bathroom in groups of two or more. Yet we do not pass comment. We do not make judgment. That is your choice. But we men will always walk the toilet mile... alone."

This led to me thinking of the rules of the men's room. Rules that all men should know. Rules that all men should follow. It then occurred to me that many aspects of our lives have rules to them, almost all of which are unspoken. It also occurred to me that, though writing rules for the men's room is far from unique, there are various events in life in which writing rules could be both useful and a source of great humor.

From this thought, I have started a new website detailing the rules of life's interactions. I'm open to contributing writers and suggestions as I don't have enough faith in my own knowledge nor creative skills to be able to update such a site regularly. If you're at all interested in writing and would like to know more, leave a comment, send me an e-mail, poke with a stick, do whatever you have to to get my attention and let me know.

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